Divisional review of the nurse specialist role
evidence and practice    

Divisional review of the nurse specialist role

Karine Anne Latter Lead for research, Innovation and development and assistant divisional nurse, Division of Cancer and Associated Specialities, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, England
Scott Purser Divisional nurse, Clinical Support Division, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, England
Sue Chisholm Lead cancer nurse and assistant divisional nurse, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, England
Eleanor Robinson Deputy lead cancer nurse, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your understanding of the nurse specialist role

  • To enable you to assess the importance of nurse specialists in your area of practice

  • To identify ways that nurse specialists can contribute to high-quality patient care and outcomes

Nurse specialists have been described as providing an optimal return on investment for income generation, patient safety, cost savings, and improvements in patient care and experience. However, there is often a lack of understanding of the nurse specialist role and how such nurses support improved patient outcomes. To assess the effect of the nurse specialist in a division of one large NHS trust, a review of the nurse specialist role was undertaken within eight specialties. This review profiled nurse specialists’ roles in terms of their activity, income generation and quality, with the aim of producing specialist job plans to accurately reflect their roles. Nurse specialists were provided with a job-planning template and face-to-face sessions on how to complete it. The returned job plans were reviewed by a panel consisting of nursing management, lead clinical nurse specialists and representatives from finance. The results were used to generate three generic nurse specialist job plans that recognised the core elements of the role. The division intends to undertake a further review of nurse specialists, which aims to explore the role in further detail, including identifying their development needs. Having examined the effects of the nurse specialist role, the division needs to ensure that nurse specialists are resourced to reach their full potential.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11080

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

karine.latter@nuh.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Latter KA, Purser S, Chisholm S et al (2019) Divisional review of the nurse specialist role. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11080

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all of the nurse specialists who submitted their job plans

Published online: 04 February 2019

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